Automatic organ donation policy to come into effect from start of July
IN six weeks’ time, Islanders will need to formally register their wishes if they do not want their organs to be donated after death.
From 1 July, there will be an assumption in law that, unless they have stated otherwise, all adults resident in Jersey consent to donating their organs after they die.
The States are urging Islanders to ‘have a conversation with loved ones’ about organ donation and make a decision as to whether or not they want to stay on the National Organ Donation Register.
There are currently 21,030 Islanders on the register, which is consulted by medical staff in circumstances where organ donation is a possibility.
From 1 July, adults in Jersey will be recorded as consenting to donation unless they have contacted the NHS-run register to opt out of the system.
Commenting on the law change, which was agreed by the States in April last year, Health Minister Richard Renouf said that the new system would encourage level-headed conversation about a difficult subject and would avoid decisions having to be made in more emotive circumstances.
‘The intention of this new law is to make it easier for deceased Islanders to donate their organs and potentially save more lives,’ he said. ‘However, there is also a recognition that not everyone wants to donate their organs and they must have the opportunity to opt out if they wish.
‘We want to raise awareness of organ donation and encourage people to have the conversation with their families about donating while still fit and well, rather than leaving families in shock to make that choice in the emotive aftermath of a serious accident or illness.’
In the weeks leading up to the July deadline, the States communications unit will be running information campaigns to raise awareness of the introduction of a new system.
Information about organ donation is currently available on the States website and will also be posted to households and on the Government of Jersey’s social media channels.